SINCE arriving at the club in December, Ruairi Keating has made an instead impact with Cork City.
The striker has already registered four goals with his new club and has received praise throughout the season from his manager Colin Healy. Keating is enjoying his time with the club and has found settling into a new City that much easier because of the fact his family joined him in making the move to Cork.
“When I first came down I was sharing a place with Kev (Kevin O’Connor) and Ally (Gilchrist) but the whole idea of me coming down here was so that I could be with my family," Keating said.
"I spent way too many years away from them during my time in England, and last year I did a lot of travelling. With two small kids; I wanted to be at home more.
"I wanted us all to be together and we have done that. My son is five months old, he was born in November and my daughter will be three in October.
“It’s huge that they came with me. They have always been supportive of me. She has sacrificed a lot for me to be happy, and for me to do my best.
"She has been huge and I’m lucky to have her. I think coming down to Cork, I was thinking that. ‘it’s about time we are all together and we would all be happy’.
“The one thing that I have found since becoming a dad is that; after a game that you don’t do too well in, or win, or after training and you’ve not had a great day, coming home and being with the kids has made me switch-off and appreciate things more.
"It’s allowed me to let go of things and not to dwell on them. It’s kind of like you leave football behind and focus on your family life and you go again the next day and it’s been great for me in that sense.
“I think it’s the first time in a long time that I have been happy in my career. I’ve kind of knocked around a few places over the years.
"I never really settled, and for one reason or another things just didn’t suit me, especially as a striker, wherever you go you are expected to score goals but I think if you’re not happy or you’re not enjoying your football, it’s very very hard to be the best you can on the pitch.
"To perform well and be scoring goals, you definitely need to be happy off the pitch and you need to be in the right environment to thrive.
"I think coming down here is a great opportunity for me and my family to be happy, and obviously the belief and trust Colin has put in me has made it easy for me to go out on a pitch and show what I can do. I’ve just enjoyed my football.”
Keating has shown, particularly with his goals against Waterford and Athlone Town, how good a finisher he is.
The former Galway United player believes that it is important to make sure he is working on his finishing in training to make sure he is prepared for games..
“ I do work on my finishing. I suppose everyday you are working on different things, and as a striker you are working on finding corners and getting the ball out of your feet because the higher you go, you don’t get that much time in the box.
"You might only get one or two touches before you need to be getting a shot away or putting the ball in the net.
“I think it comes with experience. As you grow older and you play more games, you understand that.
"And like I said, the higher you go you find that. I just think it is in me from over the years, from just learning and progressing that it’s just kind of come along.
"Obviously, it’s something I’ve worked on too but I do think being a good finisher comes with experience. Having that composure, staying calm; I definitely think that comes with maturity, and I think that is coming into my game now.
"I’m 26 years of age, I’m not a kid anymore, so I need to start showing signs of maturity and things like that in my game. I think once you start hitting the net as a striker, your confidence grows and it becomes natural."